This week, we opened the door to our first international store in New Zealand. Our signature minimal and relaxed aesthetic, paired-back tones and neutral timber were used to create a space that feels more like a home than a retail store. We sat down with designers Christina & Jess from We are Triibe who shared their creative process and inspiration for the store, as well as their top tips for designing a minimal home.
Hi Christina & Jess! Can you tell us a little about yourselves and your Interior Design studio We Are Triibe?
We have been close friends since high school and decided to launch We Are Triibe together 6.5 years ago; a multi-platform design company specialising in interior architecture, styling, and product design. We originally launched the business in Sydney and now have offices in Melbourne and Byron Bay. We both live and work from different cities/ offices, however, due to having clients all across Australia and abroad, working remotely is easy for us and we’re online to each other all day every day. Jess lives in the beautiful Byron Bay hinterland with her husband and little boy, tending to our Northern NSW and QLD clients, whilst Tina is our Triibe nomad – living and working with our incredible team in Melbourne, as well as flying interstate or abroad most weeks to do site visits and meet with clients.
How would you describe Triibe's approach to design?
Our overarching design approach is definitely very considered, although we lean more towards a relaxed and timeless aesthetic – we endeavour to create spaces that positively impact the way people feel, as well as ensuring the space feels like it has a little ‘soul’ to it.
Tell us about your creative process, what goes into conceptualising a new space or product?
From the beginning of each project, it’s always a really nice and collaborative effort with our clients and team to collate all of our ideas and design direction to arrive at a really clear and concise end result. We work in a five-phase process, whereby the first two phases are conceptual, allowing us to establish a finalised design through things that inspire us, imagery, mapping out the space with schematic floor plans and 3D renderings to gain a clear understanding of what the final outcome will look like prior to moving into the next phases to bring our ideas to life.
Can you share with us the inspiration behind the Auckland store design?
Assembly Label and Triibe share a very complimenting aesthetic and appreciation for design, with the key focus on creating spaces that feel more like a home than a retail store. For the Auckland store design, we wanted to really herald the Assembly Label brand, as this is the first overseas store outside of Australia. It was important for us to create a space that customers felt really welcomed in, could comfortably move and transition through, and for everyone who stops by to feel at ‘home’ in a sense.
Taking cue from our signature minimal and relaxed aesthetic, paired-back tones and neutral timber have been used throughout the space, to create a simple and uplifting customer experience. Can you talk us through the process of selecting and sourcing materials?
We sourced timber and stone from local New Zealand suppliers that complimented the material palette used throughout the Australian stores. We wanted to ensure we incorporated materials that embodied the Assembly Label brand whilst working with great local suppliers and companies to achieve this.
Being our first store outside of Australia, there is an enormous opportunity to collaborate with local suppliers and businesses in Auckland. Who did you work with to bring the store to life?
Yes, we love working with and showcasing New Zealand brands! We worked closely with our great Auckland-based build team Fitout Solutions who executed our design beautifully, and the space showcases an amazing rug by Nodi rugs and side table from Resident by Simon James Design.
Designed to embody the relaxed, Australian coastal lifestyle our stores reflect an appreciation for minimalism, favouring high-quality materials and refined detail over adornment. In what ways do you seek to explore the principles of minimal design in your own spaces?
We always buy with intent and live with the necessities vs in excess. It allows us to hold value to the items that genuinely mean something to us and make our spaces feel like a home.
Can you share with us your top 3 tips for designing a minimal home?
- Just to be clear, there’s a difference between minimal and stark – purchase the necessities for your space and layer them with items that you love and that hold meaning to you e.g. artworks, books, plants, ceramics, textiles and things you pick up along your travels. Minimal doesn’t mean not having seating for your guests…
- To achieve a minimal look when selecting fixtures for your home, consider selecting items with a clean and refined simplicity to them – no fussy details.
- Layered tonal colours and paired-back prints/ details will put you on the right track to a minimal space.
In what ways can design influence the mood felt in a space, and what considerations are taken to create spaces that people want to spend time in?
Environmental psychology is the driving force behind all the designs we create – that a space has the ability to positively (or negatively) impact the way someone feels. We always consider how our designs, whether it’s the layout/ flow of the space, the materials and products we select and the lighting we specify could improve someone’s state of being.
Triibe tip: make sure your light bulbs at home are warm light, not cool light. Warm light is more calming for your nervous system and you will likely sleep better.
When it comes to your personal style, how would you describe your approach to curating your wardrobe, are there any essentials you can't live without?
Admittedly, neither one of us go shopping very often, we both opt for purchasing quality staple pieces once every blue moon that we rotate for years to come. Now that Jess is a mum, it’s all about comfort and ease, whilst still feeling relatively put together! Tina, on the other hand, wears her beloved jeans until they literally have a blow-out. Thank god for Assembly Label and their trusty everyday wardrobe-essentials.